Learn More About Our Host Conversationalists
Great Conversations offers an unforgettable evening of fine dining and stimulating conversation with prominent individuals from our vibrant community.
Gabriel van Aalst – New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, President & CEO,
Leading the state’s largest performing arts ensemble since 2016, Australian-born van Aalst developed a 5 year strategic plan leading to the Orchestra’s Centennial in 2022, successfully negotiated a 5 year contract between NJSO and the musician’s union and renewed the contract of music director Xian Zhang’s through 2024. These two contracts, along with the Strategic Plan, provide unprecedented stability for NJSO’s future planning. Additionally, van Aalst oversaw NJSO’s website redesign, significantly increasing ticket sales and contributions. Formerly Chief Executive of the London-based Academy of St Martin in the Fields, he grew that orchestra’s activity, increased profitability, fundraising and marketing profile, spearheaded Sir Neville Marriner’s 90th birthday celebrations, delivered a budget surplus and developed the orchestra’s Sound Future campaign. Prior to London, he was Manager of the Australian Chamber Orchestra where his collaboration on a digital initiative – the Virtual Orchestra Project – brought the Orchestra’s interactive cross-platform experience to those living in remote and regional locations both across Australia and internationally. Van Aalst holds an MA in cultural and creative industries (King’s College, London), two BA’s from the University of Sydney (communication, media arts and production; performance studies) and Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Myriam Alvarez – Author, Journalist and Foreign Correspondent
With more than two decades’ experience as a journalist and foreign correspondent, Argentinian born author Alvarez has lived all over the world and is fluent in five languages. Beginning in 1996, she was a foreign correspondent for the German Press Agency (DPA) at United Nations Headquarters in New York, with a special focus on political, cultural, and human interest stories. Additionally, she produced and hosted an international radio show for the UN, “Women of the World,” and wrote a weekly column on art, culture and entertainment. Alvarez’ first novel, the self-published Flowers in the Dust, sold well and was ranked third in LatinoStories.com’s 2014 top 10 list of “New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read).” She recently completed her second novel, Worlds Apart, and is deep into planning her third. A passionate traveler, Alvarez believes in connecting with people, forging friendships and overcoming differences by listening and sharing stories. A graduate of the University of Palermo, she continued her education at New York University (NYU), specializing in international politics and media. When she’s not writing or spending time with her husband and two sons in New Jersey, you may find her playing competitive matches on the tennis courts.
Tom Bredahl – Crum & Forster, President & Chief Underwriting Officer, Surplus & Specialty Division
Tom runs an insurance group specializing in analysis of strange, complex, and sometimes volatile insurance risks such as skyscraper construction, rap concert security, satellite launches, long haul truckers, and bungee jumpers. His methods of risk analysis range from on-site inspection to the use of artificial intelligence in matching risk traits to expected outcomes, and his work has brought him close to some very colorful characters. When not working on insurance, Tom is likely to be on a travel adventure somewhere in the world, usually with his family in tow. Some of the more notable experiences he’s enjoyed are hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, running with the bulls in Spain, scaling sand dunes in Africa, horseback riding on an active volcano in Ecuador, and boating around an iceberg in Iceland. As a two sport collegiate athlete, some of the adventures have a more competitive bent, like kayaking across the Long Island Sound, or running marathons in New York, Washington, and Dublin. Tom and his wife cherish their four children, crisscrossing the country to stay close and to be part of all their various activities.
Anthony Broccoli, PhD – Rutgers Climate Institute, Co–Director; Professor/Chair of Rutgers University Environmental Sciences Department
Tony enjoys spending time outdoors. Bicycling, hiking, running, snowshoeing, playing golf, or working in the garden are all preferable to spending idle time indoors. Although it is not an outdoor occupation, he also enjoys his position as Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University, where he serves as Co-Director of the Rutgers Climate Institute. He finds it rewarding to work with young people who are enthusiastic about learning and good colleagues who are engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. A native and lifelong resident of New Jersey, Tony grew up in Irvington in Essex County and attended Rutgers, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees in meteorology and a Ph.D. in environmental sciences. He spent 21 years researching climate change for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before returning to his alma mater in 2003. His ideal summer day would be spent outdoors at the Jersey shore or biking along the Delaware and Raritan Canal. Many winter nights are spent at basketball games at the Rutgers Athletic Center with his wife Carol. A native of the Boston area, she shares his enthusiasm for Rutgers sports, but not his enthusiasm for the Yankees.
Ross Chomik – Vision Real Estate Partners, Managing Partner
Responsible for the business planning and growth strategies, development, redevelopment, acquisitions and leasing, Ross has positioned Vision Real Estate Partners as a leader in experiential workplace design and development. Throughout his career, he has directed development, redevelopment and leasing of over 8 million square feet of properties and over $1 billion in office, industrial, retail properties and portfolios, serving the needs of such leading corporations such as Bayer Healthcare (North American Headquarters), Alcatel Lucent, Metlife, and Barclays. At the Warren Corporate Center, a five building office campus, he led the creation of a 20,000 square-foot lifestyle center, resulting in Everest Reinsurance taking 315,000 square feet of space at the campus, the largest office lease in New Jersey in 2019. Current projects include the redevelopment, with new creative spaces and amenities, of the Latitude campus, 1776 on the Green, Northpoint, and a Tabor Rd. class A office space in Morris Plains. Under Ross’s leadership, Vision’s Bayer project and Metlife’s build-to-suit were separately awarded the New Jersey NAIOP Deal of the Year Award, the NJBIA New Good Neighbor Award, the United Way Commercial Real Estate Impact Award, and Morris County (NJ) Deal of the Year.
Wole Coaxum – Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi), Founder & CEO
The phrase that “the end depends upon the beginning” is an important one to Wole. He began his finance career as a summer intern at J.P. Morgan which led him on a path to Commercial Credit, Citigroup, Willis Group and back to J.P. Morgan Chase. This path led him to create MoCaFi, a financial technology company focused on financial inclusion working to bring responsible financial products to historically marginalized communities. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Wole journeyed to the tri-state area via Williams College and New York University. Once he got to New York City, he discovered the joys of public transportation, the benefits of milder winters and the magic of food delivery. This is an area he loves and calls home. His family – wife, Kim, and two daughters, Quinn and Avery, recently added a puppy (at the request of 5th grader Avery) to their already bustling and vibrant household. Creating an engaged, balanced life is an important tenet in Wole’s life. To the core, he believes that service to others is the barometer of a life well lived and he tries to deliver against that promise every day.
Kelly Strange Crawford – Riker Danzig, Co-Chair & Partner; Head of the Products Liability & Mass Tort Practice Group
Kelly loves her family only slightly more than her three Old English Sheepdogs. The dogs have no choice but to join in annual Halloween costume themes, whereas the human family still has free will. As a Duke graduate, Kelly has been known to run more than one TV during the first rounds of the NCAA college basketball tournament, if for no other reason than to taunt her husband, a graduate of University of Michigan (though he gets her back during football season). When named as Co-Chair, Kelly was the only woman in the top leadership role among New Jersey’s ten biggest law firms. Her job requires a deep dive into other people’s lives as well as an extensive amount of travel, which has led to countless stories that are fodder for stand up. She has also had such interesting experiences as representing a man on death row in Alabama pro bono for ten years. While no one would currently confuse her with an athlete, she once ran the NY Marathon and earned a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do after doing 75 pushups on a broken wrist. Now, if you want to talk Bourbon or chocolate, Kelly is your person.
Kevin Cummings – Investors Bank, Chairman & CEO
Kevin has successfully transitioned his leadership skills as a point guard on the basketball court to a CEO of a regional Bank. Beginning his basketball career began at St. Peter’s Prep located a few blocks from his boyhood home in Jersey City, he graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Economics and ended his collegiate basketball career as the school’s all-time leading scorer. Kevin went on to earn his MBA from Rutgers and to this day considers himself a lifelong student. When not in the office, he is a voracious reader of everything from history to books on leadership and service. Kevin began his career at KPMG, where he became a CPA and partner. As the Chairman and CEO of Investors, he has been instrumental in guiding the Bank’s evolution into a commercial bank. Throughout his career, Kevin has volunteered his time and support to the community and serves on several non-profit and industry organization boards. He credits his parents for instilling in him the values of his Irish heritage – the importance of God, faith and family. He is most proud of his wife of 38 years, their four children, and newest addition, a granddaughter.
Ariane Duarte – Chef & Owner, Ariane Kitchen & Bar
Inspired by her grandmother, Ariane was hired as a sous chef at West Orange’s Highlawn Pavilion upon her graduation from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY). She moved on through positions at The Terrace (NYC) and met her husband when working as lead grill cook at Star Canyon (Dallas). Together they moved to his family’s restaurant in Chicago where she then worked at Trio and as an assistant for one of Charlie Trotter’s cookbooks. Moving back to NJ, she started as opening chef de cuisine at Vine but quickly became their Executive Chef and when Vine closed, Ariane and her husband Michael opened CulinAriane, her own catering company. Ariane competed on Top Chef Season 5, and in 2013, she won the premiere season of “Cook Your Ass Off.” With appearances on the Today Show, Iron Chef and the Tyra Banks Show, she has been a contributing chef for several magazines. In December 2015, Ariane competed on a special holiday episode of Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” defeating Moroccan French chef Adil Fawzi and eventually conquering chef Flay to win. Ariane opened her restaurant Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona, New Jersey in the fall of 2014.
Paula Elejalde – Mondelēz International, Head of Research & Development, North America Biscuits
Paula is a seasoned triathlete and two-time NJ State sprint distance triathlon champion. In her role at Mondelēz International, as head of R&D for the North American cookie and cracker business, she leads a team composed of Food Scientists, Chemical Engineers and others who create delicious snacks to delight consumers. Paula has spent more than two decades of her career working in innovation and product development on brands ranging from margarine to dog biscuits, and focuses her efforts today on iconic favorites such as Oreo and Chips Ahoy! cookies and Ritz and Triscuit crackers. Her work at Mondelēz International has afforded her the opportunity to lead teams and travel around the globe. When she is not busy focusing on the next new product innovation or improvement, Paula enjoys spending her time practicing her Spanish and French language skills, traveling on biking trips to Italy and sharing special moments with her family, including Boy Scout camping adventures with her 17-year old son and visiting her 20-year old daughter who is currently studying in Australia. Paula holds a B.S. in Food Science and a B.A. in French from Penn State University, and received her M.S. in Food Microbiology from Cornell University.
Peter Finn – Finn Partners, Founding Partner & CEO; Chairman, Catskill Mountain Foundation
The Founder/CEO of Finn Partners, an eight year old global PR and marketing firm with 18 offices worldwide and 800 employees, Peter has grown a small agency into one of the top independent agencies in the world. With his wife Sarah, Peter is also Co-founder and Chairman of the Catskill Mountain Foundation, one of the largest multi-arts organizations in the Catskill Mountains. With a year-round staff of 30 people and an annual budget of around $2 million, the 20 year old Foundation runs two performing arts centers (presenting 25 performances annually), a four screen movie theatre (showing 100 films/year), a studio arts school (offering 25 courses each summer), a regional gallery, a Piano Performance Museum (home to 20 playable historic pianos, some dating to the time of Beethoven and Mozart), hosts multiple arts residencies each year and publishes a major arts-oriented monthly magazine serving the greater Catskill region. Concentrating in literature for both his BA from Brown and his MA from Columbia, Peter spends as much of his free time as he can reading novels, with a current list of 1,000 he is looking forward to reading.
Sunil Garg – 3D Experimental and Experiential Visual Light Artist
A visual artist at the intersection of science, technology and art, Sunil creates indoor and outdoor immersive work with non-traditional media and computer-programmed lights which he has exhibited in galleries and outdoor venues. Additionally, he has performed and recorded music with avant-garde jazz musicians in NYC. As an apprentice in India, he studied music and art while working on B.Sc. (Honors) in chemistry. After a Ph.D. (Stevens Tech), Sunil developed materials for electronics, packaging, and pharma applications. Following his J.D. in Law (Rutgers-Newark), he was a transactional and environmental lawyer, an inventor on 4 patents, and has published in peer-reviewed scientific, legal and policy journals. His art entices viewers to slow down, see and contemplate light and color in their lives. His experiences working intensively with science, technology, engineering, math, music, performance and art have led him to appreciate the importance of sciences and the arts to foster innovation in all environments, especially business and education. Sunil and his wife Dr. Michel Bitritto (a chemist and science/technology business expert), are so proud of their daughter Neena, a top pharma equity analyst on Wall Street. When not making art, Sunil enjoys time at the local dogpark with the family canine, Zeva.
Neil Glat – New York Jets, Former President; NFL, Former Senior Executive
An executive with extensive experience in sports, entertainment, media and hospitality, Neil was President of the NY Jets and, during his tenure, the Jets were recognized as “The Most Innovative Sports Team” by a leading sports/technology publication. Then, as a senior NFL executive, he oversaw corporate development and strategy. Trained at the Wharton School (U of Penn) and Harvard Law School, Neil also worked in management consulting at McKinsey & Company and investment banking at Dillon, Read & Co. Currently on the board of ASM Global, the world’s largest stadium, arena, convention center, theater and venue management company, Neil also serves on several philanthropic boards. He remains a big sports fan and – fun fact – has attended the last 22 Super Bowls. An avid media consumer, Neil regularly binge watches recent TV shows (Mindhunter, Ozark, Schitt’s Creek, Breaking Bad, Jack Ryan, and Silicon Valley), nostalgic TV shows (Star Trek and the Twilight Zone), listens to podcasts, and enjoys reading fiction by authors such as David Baldacci, Agatha Christie, John Grisham, Stephen King, and Daniel Silva. He has travelled abroad and to all 50 states and lives in Manhattan with his wife and twin daughters.
Meghan Hunscher – Morris County Chamber of Commerce & Morris County Economic Development Corporation, President & CEO
As a city planner by training, Meghan is, at heart, a community builder. She has held positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors helping businesses and communities grow. Her career has led her to have a leadership position at one of the premier business associations in the country for a Forbes “top 10” county. Believing “all politics is local,” she began her career as a consultant for developers and communities, preparing master plans and testifying as an expert witness. She also served as the director of a land use department where she oversaw all aspects of development and planning and managed volunteer committees where she came to understand the true meaning of public servant. Most recently, she was the Executive Director of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation and she also served as the president of a statewide planning and zoning association. She is a lifelong New Jersey resident and enjoys spending time with her husband, an educator and musician, and their three children. Meghan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania where she also obtained her Masters in Fine Arts in City and Regional Planning.
Anjalee Khemlani – Yahoo Finance, International Journalist
An award-winning international journalist currently reporting for Yahoo Finance with a focus on business, markets, and healthcare, Anjalee previously worked for a variety of media organizations that include startup digital, international broadcast, and local radio. She covered the politics and business of New Jersey, most recently as a Managing Editor at ROI-NJ and before that at NJBIZ. She is also a freelance contributor to SheThePeople.TV, a female-focused news site based in India, covering women’s empowerment and the successes of women in the workplace. A repeat guest on NJTV and New Jersey 12, and seen on TV Asia and CNN-IBN, she has hosted/ produced podcasts and moderated NJ and NY panels focused on health care, business, investigative reporting and politics. A Jamaican-born Florida native with a journalism degree from the University of Florida, she still misses the sunshine but also loves her new home in New Jersey, with all the larger-than-life Jersey personalities. Driven by her curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge, Anjalee considers herself lucky to still have a career in journalism. As the appreciation and love for hard news is dying, ask her how she feels about watching the cold Atlantic overtake that Titanic.
Tim McCarthy – ESPN, SVP & General Manager
As Senior Vice President of ESPN Radio Group since 2010, Tim oversees ESPN 98.7 FM NY, Play by Play rights, and production for ESPN Radio Network as well as all radio rights deals across the country, including College football, NFL, MLB, NBA, USC, etc. President & General Manager of ESPN 98.7 FM, the New York flagship of ESPN Radio since its 2001 inception, he acquired the broadcast rights to many of New York’s pro favorite teams (the New York Jets, Knicks, and Rangers) and was President/General Manager of WABC Radio (1998-2006), when the station became the #1 talk station in the country. A graduate of Iona College (BA/BS in Mass Communications), he earned an MBA (Long Island University, Brooklyn) and was twice honored with the News/Talk GM of the Year from Radio & Record (2004,2006). Selected as one of the nation’s 10 best managers by Radio Ink Magazine (2005), Tim also served on NYMRAD, the NY State Broadcasters, on the Guardian Angels Board and remains active with the Epilepsy Society of Southern New York, which enables children with epilepsy to participate in summer camps, events and programs throughout the year. Tim, his wife, their son and three daughters reside in Mahwah.
Becca Meis – Set Decorator in Film and Television Production
A Set Decorator who works in TV, film and commercials, Becca has a degree in modern dance (Performance/ Choreography) from the U of Missouri’s Conservatory of Music. While working as a professional dancer in New York City, she also earned a living using her stage craft skills acquired in college to work on music videos and commercials. Pursuing her passion for film work, she eventually became a Set Decorator after working as a set dresser, a property person (someone who handles anything touched by an actor) and an assistant to set decorators. A member of the Set Decorator Society of America and IATSE Local 52, Becca has been nominated and received a Directors Guild Award for her work on Julie and Julia. Her other credits include: Doubt, The Wolf of Wall Street, Taking Woodstock, Burn After Reading, Jack Goes Boating, Blindspot, Emergence and the current Showtime show, City on a Hill. Becca met her husband on set and occasionally they get to work together. They have a daughter in college, a son in 2nd grade and a 3 year old dog named Doris. In her spare time, Becca enjoys cooking, entertaining, and hanging out with family and friends.
Kathryn Metcalfe – Bristol-Myers Squibb, EVP, Corporate Affairs
A born storyteller who honed her skills scaring her little sister with ghost stories in childhood, Kathryn’s love affair with the art of the story hasn’t dimmed since; though she’s now advising CEOs on even scarier topics such as crisis, issues, and policy matters. Kathryn has held multiple leadership positions at major corporations and top agencies. She is currently the head of Corporate Affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb where she is responsible for government affairs and communications. Previously, she was the Chief Communications Officer of CVS Health, the nation’s largest health company, and Aetna, Inc. Kathryn also served as Chief Communications Officer of Deloitte LLP and as a Vice President at Pfizer Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Kathryn holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and was an adjunct professor at New York University. She is on the Board of the Boise Urban Garden School (BUGs) and, in her spare time, built a park in her hometown of Boise, Idaho.
Tom Moriarty – CVS Health, EVP, Chief Policy & External Affairs Officer, General Counsel
Leading CVS Health’s external affairs programs, including the policy, government and public affairs, corporate communications, and legal and regulatory teams, Tom grew up in New Jersey where he played basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis. Understanding the value of good heath is a natural fit for Tom’s job at CVS Health, a company whose purpose is to Help People on Their Path to Better Health. Most recently, Tom led the legal team’s efforts to win approval for CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna, Inc. This historic deal is enabling CVS Health to transform health care in new and innovative ways – making it more simple, convenient and affordable for millions of people. When not working, Tom takes care of his own health at his hideaway in the Adirondacks. With limited cell phone and WiFi, Tom plays golf with his sons, runs with his daughter and kayaks with his wife. At the end of the day, the family, and their beloved bulldog, love curling up to a cozy fire for which Tom, naturally, split the wood. He has been privileged to meet the last seven U.S. presidents and definitely has a few good stories…you’ll just need to pull them out of him. It’s worth it.
Karin Ann Payne – Bayer, VP, Quality, North America
When this wife and mother of two is not at the gym, playing soccer or traveling with her family, Karin leads Bayer’s Quality function for North America, ensuring Bayer remains committed to the highest standards of quality, which is paramount to the patients and customers it serves every day. Not one to stand on the sidelines, Karin is also co-executive sponsor of Bayer’s business resource group, GROW, dedicated to advocating for women’s advancement. The group works to fuel a competitive advantage through an accountable and inclusive culture championing growth and achievement of women globally. Karin joined Bayer in 2018 from Reckitt Benckiser where she was Head of Global Corporate Quality Compliance, responsible for managing the company’s Global Quality management System, Corporate Quality audits, and Global metrics and Computer System Validations teams. She also managed the Europe and North America Commercial Quality teams, responsible for managing in-market quality. Previously, Karin held roles in Quality Assurance and Compliance at Actavis and Pfizer, managing the unique challenges and opportunities of the consumer health and pharmaceutical industries. She holds an MBA in Financial Management (High Honors), a Certificate in International Finance from Iona University and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Rutgers University.
David Perlin, PhD – Hackensack Meridian Health, Chief Scientific Officer & SVP, Center for Discovery and Innovation
As an infectious diseases’ specialist and expert on fungal infections, David is a “fun-guy” excited by scientific discovery and his “creative calling,” discovering nature’s unknown secrets. “I don’t draw, I don’t play an instrument and I don’t sing.” Beyond fungal infections, he directs major discovery programs on drug resistant bacterial infections and leads the Center for Discovery and Innovation, a new cancer and infectious diseases research institute. No ivory tower academic, he is grounded in real world problems, dedicated to helping patients overcome disease. Previously, at Rutgers Medical School, David led a national program studying dangerous microbes that cause deadly diseases like anthrax, plague, tuberculosis, AIDS, SARS, hospital acquired infections, avian and pandemic flu. With a Ph.D. from Cornell University and postdoctoral studies at Yale’s School of Medicine, he’s won grants totaling nearly $100 million and published 275 papers, books and chapters. Often lecturing abroad, David enjoys new colleagues and cultures. He and Amy, his wife of 40+ years, live in New York. He enjoys working out, long summer bike rides, ocean swimming, and spending time with family and friends. A sports enthusiast and former college basketball player, he is drawn to March madness and watching sports with his grown sons, Josh and Dan.
Srikant Ramaswami – GSK, Head, U.S. Pharmaceuticals Communications
A well-known leader in the pharmaceutical industry who is passionate about the patient journey and the role of communication in driving business results, Sri has worked around the world in the industry’s largest markets, including the United States, China, and India. In his current role at GSK, Sri is responsible for oncology, respiratory, specialty and vaccines communications as well as partnerships and the No.Carolina GlaxoSmithKline foundation. Sri is driven to elevate humanity and help patients. In this mission, he lives with intent, having led Operation Smile efforts to help children with cleft lip and cleft palate in raising tremendous amounts of money to help with expenses for corrective surgeries. As a nightclub disc jockey, Sri has hosted musical events to raise money for childhood cancers. He has also written prolifically about diversity and inclusion, and is an invaluable protagonist for gender rights and the eradication of poverty.
Walter Rosenfeld, MD – Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Chair of Pediatrics; Atlantic Health System, Medical Director of Children’s Health; Rutgers NJ Medical School, Professor of Pediatrics
Chair of Pediatrics at Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center and the Medical Director of Children’s Health for Atlantic Health System, Dr. Rosenfeld oversees more than 100 pediatric specialists at Atlantic Health System, pediatric residents and medical students. He has written, lectured and published extensively on topics relating to adolescent health, adolescent sexuality (including STDs), risk taking, eating disorders, substance abuse, obesity, the Internet, and the linkages between physical and mental health. With a BS (U Wisconsin), MD (Temple U Medical School), residency in Pediatrics (Babies Hospital/Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons) and a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine (Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard), he is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. He has also held leadership positions at the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, the board of Atlantic Medical Group (a multispecialty physician group with more than 1,000 members), and the Atlantic Health Institutional Review Board, which evaluates the ethics and scientific value of clinical studies as well as protects subjects’ rights and welfare. In addition to his position at Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Dr. Rosenfeld has been a clinical professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School since 2002.
Raven Santana – NJTV News Correspondent
A correspondent for NJTV News, Raven began her career as a Field Producer/Production Assistant for FOX 5 in New York, while she reported part-time as a general assignment reporter for WZBN-News in Trenton. Raven got her first big break in Springfield, Massachusetts where she worked for NBC affiliate WWLP for 2 years as a reporter. She was able to return back to her home state of New Jersey in 2013 as a reporter for FiOS1 News, where she covered several national stories including the capture of Linden Bombing Suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami and won awards for her breaking news coverage of “The Ewing House Explosion”. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Radio/TV/Film with minor in Economics from Rowan University. When she’s not working, Raven loves traveling, exercising, entertaining and spending time with her husband, family and close friends.
Bhushan Sethi – PwC US, Partner & Joint Global Leader, People & Organization
At PwC, Bhushan shapes and drives the firm’s global network strategy across 11,000+ practitioners in 150+ countries delivering solutions across people strategy, technology, process and risk & compliance. He is a leading thinker/spokesperson on topics including “future of work”, risk culture, workforce strategy, employee experience and diversity & inclusion evidenced by his external speaking events published research, media interviews and active social media profile. Recently featured in WSJ, Bloomberg, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, World Economic Forum, American Banker, HR Digest, Human Capital Institute, he has spoken at Global Solutions Summit, UNDP, Wharton, MIT and is currently a member of the T20 “Future of work task force” working with global think tanks, business and academic leaders to influence future public policy. Recently joining the Global Future Council on the New Equality and Inclusion Agenda (part of the World Economic Forum), Bhushan also works with domestic financial services executives to define and implement strategies enabling sustainable business, financial and customer outcomes. Recent experiences include enterprise, front and back office operating model design, workforce strategy & planning, building digital workforce capabilities, post-merger integration, employee experience and culture led change. He currently resides in New York City and has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and US. Watch his closing remarks from PwC’s 2018 Future of Work Conference.
Roger Smith – Gensler, Design Director
Roger has over 30 years of experience with a broad range of projects, from master planning and mixed-use developments to corporate interiors, housing, museums, and hotels. His work includes both local and International projects that have taken him to Europe, Asia and the Middle East, which has contributed to his fascination with the traditions of architecture from around the world. Currently a Design Director at Gensler’s Morristown office, he also shares his love for architecture as an adjunct professor at the Weitzman School of Design at UPENN, the Hillier College of Architecture and Design at NJIT, and the Michael Graves College at Kean University, encouraging students to explore design while building an understanding of the links between theory and practice. He has also served on the faculty of Center for Creative Placemaking, an organization that integrates arts and culture into community design and planning. In his free time, Roger enjoys the outdoors—kayaking, camping, and backpacking. He also brings his passion for design to his personal interests, which include painting and the theatre.
Mark Wilsmann – MetLife Investment Management, Managing Director, Real Estate Investments
Over his 35-year career, Mark has been involved in over $100 billion of commercial real estate investments across office, retail, apartments, logistics, and hotels, including the development of premier projects in cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, and Washington DC. With an educational background in the social sciences, he has a fascination for identifying trends in demographics, technology, and human behavior, including values, tastes and preferences affecting how and where people desire to work, live, shop, and play – and predicting the impact on cities and commercial real estate development. In recent years, through his leadership role in the Urban Land Institute, he has become active in the questions of sustainability and resiliency — in particular the impact of global warming on cities, real estate economics, and population migration. As the father of four independent, geographically diverse millennials embodying political views ranging from staunchly conservative to progressively liberal, holiday gatherings can get a little testy. Mark enjoys the outdoors, good wine, international travel (business and pleasure), live music, movies and theater. After a long and rewarding career, he is also beginning to think about plans for the next chapter of his life.
Gabrielle Wolfson – Quest Diagnostics, SVP, Chief Information & Digital Officer
Gabrielle leads technology, informatics and digital efforts for Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services based in Secaucus, NJ. When she’s not building and protecting IT systems for Quest, Gabrielle loves to learn and connect dots in our ever-connected world. She’s an avid technologist who loves to read about future trends and emerging technologies. You may also see her with an occasional suspense or mystery novel in her hand, usually written by her favorites Douglas Preston or Lincoln Child. Prior to Quest, Gabrielle served as Chief Information Officer for Xerox Corp., Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Panasonic, Integra Life Sciences and Par Pharmaceutical. When she’s not working or reading, you can usually find Gabrielle bicycling, watching soccer (Viva Italia), and playing or watching tennis (big Novak Djokovic fan). A native of Romania, Gabrielle holds a Master’s in technology management from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in mathematics from Queens College in New York City. She and her husband are proud parents of two daughters who are pursuing careers in law and medicine.